By Michelle Blanco •

Making Waves: The Best Marketing Campaigns of the Year

Best Marketing Campaigns - digital agency leeds - parallax

The very best marketing campaigns are often experimental and unique, embracing collaborative marketing, live video, consumer insights, technology and data. We’re always looking for inspiration, so here are some of our favourite campaigns from the past year.

Spotify: “Thanks 2016, it’s been weird.”

Combining humorous copy with bold visuals, Spotify pieced together their year-ending campaign from their vast trove of user data, creating a series of lighthearted and memorable adverts to bid 2016 a firm goodbye.

Developed by their in-house creative team (with vital insight from regional teams around the globe), the popular music streaming service executed this campaign with eye-catching style. Rolled out across 14 different markets with hyper-localized messages, the campaigned merged listener data with specific cultural references.

“Dear 3,749 people who streamed ‘It’s The End Of The World As We Know It’ the day of the Brexit Vote. Hang in there.”

- UK-centric Spotify ad

Spotify’s CMO stated the data-driven campaign built on the success of 2015’s “Year in Music” campaign. They realised that different geographical areas provided very interesting insights which “lead to the idea of reflecting culture via listener behaviour”.

Airbnb: Van Gogh’s Bedroom

The online marketplace and homestay network Airbnb teamed up with The Art Institute of Chicago to recreate a three-dimensional version of Van Gogh’s famous bedroom and create an interactive exhibition based on all three versions of the painting.

Best Marketing Campaigns
Best Marketing Campaigns

The bedroom was listed on the Airbnb website, where aside from visiting, you could actually spend the night for $10 – if you were lucky enough to be able to book a slot. This innovative campaign received widespread publicity for both companies – in the span of just one week the story was covered in over 100 countries, helping to create one of the most visited installations ever.

Virgin: Seize the Holiday

Last year saw the rise of “live video” across the digital world, with social networks blazing the trail. Virgin Holidays fully embraced the trend, resulting in an extremely successful campaign that incentivised people into taking long-haul holidays.

The advert was filmed live across 18 global destinations featuring a host of people participating in a range of fun activities. Virgin found a unique way to effectively showcase the cornucopia of possibilities across their destinations, injecting a sense of fresh spontaneity back into global travel.

Requiring a production crew of 90 people and vision mixed on the fly to fill its 60-second slot, this was no easy task to coordinate. The results, however speak for themselves – 838 web searches per minute on the day it went live, with over 16.9 million impressions via the #SeizeTheHoliday hashtag.

Pret A Manger: Not Just For Veggies

Favouring word-of-mouth buzz over more traditional forms of advertising, the in-house team at Pret A Manger executed a large-scale campaign with a difference. Following a spike in the sales of vegetarian and vegan options in their regular outlets, Pret conducted an online poll asking customers if they’d back a totally meat-free version of their store.

Best Marketing Campaigns

With so much positive feedback, Pret took the plunge and turned one of its central London cafes into Pret’s Little Veggie Pop Up. Following the strong sales, Pret decided to keep the shop on as a permanent site – now called Veggie Pret, they’re looking to expand the concept outside London.

The move to meat-free was supplemented by the “Not Just For Veggies” slogan, which appeared in their 308 UK outlets as well as on bags and food packaging, all augmented by a shift from red to green for product stickers and key areas of their website. It was a clear brand proposition designed to appeal to as wide an audience as possible, all delivered with playful and effective communications.

Malibu: Because Summer

At Parallax, we love marketing campaigns that capitalise on exciting new technologies and make the most of the everyday hardware people carry around in their pockets. That’s why we were especially impressed with Malibu’s summer campaign.

On top of TV adverts and integrated social media, the campaign utilised into the technology used most commonly used for contactless payments (NFC). With the primary aim of creating a closer bond with their customers, Malibu set about creating 40,000 ‘connected’ bottles and used them as individual media platforms.

Best Marketing Campaigns
Best Marketing Campaigns

The bottles allowed users to access exclusive content such as prize draws, recipes, playlists and a bar locator – all by simply tapping their phones to the bottle. This was backed up with promotional packs and POS materials for stores. All in all, this interactive campaign added a special twist to the overall user experience.

So these are just a handful of our favourite marketing campaigns from last year. Looking back, we were spoilt for choice – now we’re intrigued to see what comes out of 2017. Have we missed any of your favourites? Let us know!